The Corporette Workwear Hall of Fame

corporette workwear hall of fameWelcome to The Corporette Workwear Hall of Fame! I started this blog in 2008 -- and I've been fascinated to see how, every so often, a company gets such a rave response to a dress, bag, or blazer that they keep producing the item, year after year.  There may be new colors or patterns, or slight adaptions like pockets or sleeves -- but in general it's the exact same product.  These classic, best-selling styles are exactly the pieces you want to use to build your work wardrobe.  We always mention the Hall of Famers in our biweekly Hunts (where we go on the Hunt for a classic workwear piece), but I thought it would be great to collect some of these heavy hitters into one easy place for readers to review the items.  Thus: the Corporette Workwear Hall of Fame was born.

Workwear Hall of Fame: The Nudes

Our daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

best-nude-pantyhoseIn every discussion we’ve had on this site about pantyhose, including polls on your favorite lingerie brands for work, one brand is repeated over and over again: The Nudes.  I mentioned it in my Nordstrom sale roundup for workwear yesterday, but it’s really deserving of a post in its own right.  It comes in regular and plus sizes, in seven different shades of “nude” — the brand has control top, toeless, sheer to waist, and “toner” hosiery, which apparently is somewhere between control top and sheer to waist.  A package is normally $20, but during the sale they’re marked to $14.90 — you can also get 3 packs for $39, bringing the price-per-package down to $13.  Nice.  Donna Karan ‘The Nudes’ Control Top Hosiery

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]

2016 Update: These have been such a hit over the years that they’re now in our Workwear Hall of Fame!

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Workwear Hall of Fame: Regent Blazer in Linen

J.Crew Linen Regent Blazer | CorporetteOur daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

My goodness: this linen blazer come in NINE colors (and at least three more patterns). That is confidence, folks. My favorites are the lemon yellow and tidewater, but the “autumn bluegrass,” pictured, is also lovely. The blazer comes in regular, petite, and tall sizes, and is fully lined. It’s $178, full price. J.Crew Regent Blazer in Linen

Here are a lower-priced alternative and plus-size option.

2016 Update: This blazer is now in our Workwear Hall of Fame! Year after year it comes out in great colors and prints in a variety of fabrics, often great for summer. Looking for ideas for how to wear it? Check out our roundup of work outfit ideas for summer blazers.

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]

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Workwear Hall of Fame: Theory Suits …(and, the Differences Between the Different Gabes)

Theory-different-gabesFor busy working women, the suit is often the easiest outfit to throw on in the morning. In general, this feature is not about interview suits for women, which should be as classic and basic as you get — instead, this feature is about the slightly different suit that is fashionable, yet professional.

OK. I don’t know if I’m the only one who has been confused by Theory lately, but there have been so.many.tweaks to staples in their line, with minimum changes to the name of the style.  Their staple suiting pieces have, at least in recent years, been the Gabe (blazer), Golda (skirt), Max (bootcut pants), Emery (wider trousers), Betty (sheath dress).  Let’s take the blazer for example — first it was just the Gabe blazer. Then it was the Gabe B. blazer.  Then it was the Gabe B.2 blazer.  Now it’s the Custom Gabe Blazer.  I saw this “Urban Gabe Blazer” at Last Call and my head exploded — was this a new diffusion line?  So I called the store to see if they could give me some insight.  It’s actually pretty simple:  all of the old Gabe blazers are obsolete and not being produced any more (including the one pictured below, which is why it’s on sale).  The newest version is the Custom Gabe, which has a wider lapel and is more structured through the bodice.  “Urban” is the name for the fabric that went with one of the previous versions (the Gabe B.2 I believe); the current fabric they’re using is named Edition.  (“Tailor” is another fabric name you may recognize, which I believe went with Gabe B.) The new fabric is a similar wool blend, but has a bit more stretch and feels a bit softer.)  Some of the old product pages still exist on Nordstrom, so I’ve taken screenshots of them all here for comparison purposes if you bought one in the past, liked it, and are trying to stock up on sale online (Gabe B., Gabe B.2, Custom Gabe).

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Workwear Hall of Fame: Striped Ponte Blazer

Our daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

Striped Merona Ponte BlazerFunny, funny: I always think I don’t like stripes, but I apparently do like striped blazers — I keep coming back to the Old Navy one from last year, which is still available (right now only in XXL, but keep checking — I haven’t been stalking it, but I feel like they’ve been refreshing the inventory on it frequently).  Another entry in the category, though: reader favorite, the Merona Tailored Ponte Blazer from Target — now in not one but two striped versions.  I’ve featured the black and gray, but there’s a springier navy and white one as well. It’s available in sizes XS-XXL for $29.95.  Striped Merona Ponte Blazer

2017 Update: We’re adding this blazer to our Workwear Hall of Fame! It keeps coming out in more colors and getting rave reviews. Target has them in regular, petite, and plus sizes, sometimes priced as low as $9.

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]

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Wednesday’s TPS Report: Side Pleat Sheath Dress

Our daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

Adrianna Papell Side Pleat Sheath DressOooh — love this promising sheath dress from Adrianna Papell. The jewel neck plus steep, deep V is super flattering, as are the side ruching and cap sleeves. The neckline, while lovely, presents a bit of a challenge: what necklace to wear with it? I still like a brooch with this kind of look, or I think 16″ or 18″ pearls would look great — but a more modern take might be some delicate, layered pendant necklaces. Ladies, how would you accessorize the dress? It’s available in navy and red, in regular and petite sizes, at Nordstrom for $118. Adrianna Papell Side Pleat Sheath Dress

2017 Update: We’re adding this dress to our Workwear Hall of Fame because after two years it keeps coming out in more colors, as well as different fabrics and sleeve lengths, and getting rave reviews. Nordstrom has a number of options in regular and plus sizes, but occasionally Amazon has the dress as well, sometimes as low as $45. Note that some versions are a matte crepe, and some are a shinier jacquard — there are also floral prints as well — so keep an eye on whether the fabric for the dress is right for your office before you buy.

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]

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Workwear Hall of Fame: Knit Blazer

Our daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

Olivia Moon Knit BlazerThese knit blazers from Olivia Moon have been around for a few years now, and they’re always highly rated.  This one is available in a bunch of sizes (including petite) in basic colors like black, dark gray, and light gray. It is $79.50 to $89.50 in regular, petite, and plus sizes. Olivia Moon Knit Blazer

2017 Update: We’ve added this blazer to our Workwear Hall of Fame — it comes in lots of size and color options and continues to get great reviews.

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